Pre- and postvasectomy counseling: strategies to improve patient knowledge
Brian T Nguyen
Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
Abstract: In the US, the primary providers of vasectomy are specialists who seldom introduce the idea of vasectomy to patients. Patients often come to the decision to have a vasectomy on their own or at the referral of their primary care provider (PCP). As patients rely on their PCPs for accurate information and referrals for treatment, the ability of PCPs to counsel their patients on the most appropriate methods of permanent contraception is essential. PCPs should know that vasectomy is simpler, faster, safer, cheaper, and at least equally effective as female sterilization. However, barriers to acceptability still exist, and male patients may have concerns and biases that PCPs need to be ready to address, ranging from anxieties about pain and sexual function post-procedure to the potential for regret and the development of certain cancers. This article provides an up-to-date review of the evidence on those aspects of vasectomy and may serve as a resource for providers to address patient concerns, and thus increase patient knowledge and uptake. Recommendations for home care and appropriate follow-up testing are included.
Keywords: vasectomy, male sterilization, contraception, contraceptive counseling
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